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“Now is the moment for transformational change,” said New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in a keynote address at the NYC Summit on Children at Columbia University on November 25.
In his first major speech since the election, the incoming mayor reiterated the critical need for universal pre-K to ensure all children start school with an essential foundation. He also called for increased access to after-school programs to help give kids a chance to live up to their highest potential.
Children’s Health Fund Co-Founder and President Dr. Irwin Redlener was instrumental in bringing de Blasio to speak at the historic gathering of more than 100 academics, educators, health care leaders, and policymakers. Redlener, who directs the recently launched Program on Child Well-Being and Resilience at Columbia University's Earth Institute, co-hosted the summit with Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs. Panel moderators included acclaimed journalists Jane Pauley, Bob Herbert and Brian Lehrer.
“Extensive research over the last several decades has left no doubt that investments in eliminating social and economic disparities in children, improving parental skills, focusing on early development and assuring universal access to pre-K programs can have life-long benefits for children, their communities and society as a whole,” said Redlener.
The NYC Summit on Child Well-Being, co-sponsored by Children’s Health Fund, is one of the first programmatic components of our Ready to Learn initiative – a campaign to raise awareness about the health barriers that can interfere with children’s abilities to succeed in school and in life. Through research, advocacy, program development and public awareness activities like the NYC Summit on Children, Children’s Health Fund is working to ensure that every child is healthy and ready to learn.
Read more: http://news.columbia.edu/oncampus/3282